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ou could say Chhina Doll’s biggest talent is for turning heads. Anyone involved with the five-year-old mare will tell you it happens all the time — she is so stunningly beautiful you just can’t take your eyes off her. But in the beginning few would have figured the pretty grey to be anything more than a backyard broodmare. She was bred by Karen and Craig Miller in Swanton, Ohio, where she happily roamed the pastures for the first four years of her life. That is, until halter trainer Keith Krichke dropped by for a visit just prior to the Scottsdale 2012 show. He had come to see a Versace

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daughter he intended to purchase, but it was the Da Vinci FM filly Chhina Doll who stole his heart that day. “I looked across the aisleway and there was this beautiful, fuzzy, grey mare hanging her head over the stall door,” recalls Keith. “She had the most beautiful ears — just so tight, and beautiful face structure. I looked at my wife Maureen and I knew I was in trouble. I was going to buy this mare!” Sure enough, Keith came home with two horses that day. Keith took the mare straight from the pasture to Scottsdale along with the rest of his show string, not knowing whether he

72 ▪ ARABIAN HORSE WORLD ▪ SEPTEMBER 2012


C C ina inaDo Do 

u n d e r

Y

h e r

s p e l l

ou could say Chhina Doll’s biggest talent is for turning heads. Anyone involved with the five-year-old mare will tell you it happens all the time — she is so stunningly beautiful you just can’t take your eyes off her. But in the beginning few would have figured the pretty grey to be anything more than a backyard broodmare. She was bred by Karen and Craig Miller in Swanton, Ohio, where she happily roamed the pastures for the first four years of her life. That is, until halter trainer Keith Krichke dropped by for a visit just prior to the Scottsdale 2012 show. He had come to see a Versace

b y

K i r s t e n

M a t h i e s o n

daughter he intended to purchase, but it was the Da Vinci FM filly Chhina Doll who stole his heart that day. “I looked across the aisleway and there was this beautiful, fuzzy, grey mare hanging her head over the stall door,” recalls Keith. “She had the most beautiful ears — just so tight, and beautiful face structure. I looked at my wife Maureen and I knew I was in trouble. I was going to buy this mare!” Sure enough, Keith came home with two horses that day. Keith took the mare straight from the pasture to Scottsdale along with the rest of his show string, not knowing whether he

72 ▪ ARABIAN HORSE WORLD ▪ SEPTEMBER 2012


73 ▪ ARABIAN HORSE WORLD ▪ SEPTEMBER 2012


C C ina inaDo Do 

was going to show her — at Scottsdale or any other show. “We were getting all the horses prepared,” he recalls, “I was out there and Maureen was back home in Michigan asking, ‘How do they look?’ I said, ‘Boy, this Chhina Doll keeps looking really special.’” Shortly after that Bob and Dixie North came to visit the Krichke farm in Scottsdale. The couple had purchased Grand Commandd from the Krichkes in January. (The colt went on to win supreme Champion Yearling Colt at the Arabian Breeders World Cup show in Las Vegas.) “The Norths happened to be looking at the horses when I had that mare turned out,” recalls Keith. “Dixie got all excited.” Says Dixie: “I fell right in love with her. She is so beautiful. She’s typey and has this beautiful trot with her tail up. You have all this great Arabian snort and blow and yet she calms down and she’s very sweet … the epitome of an Arabian.” Keith continues, “Dixie called me later that day and said, ‘I told a couple of people about that mare.’ I had a healthy price on her and it really didn’t matter to me if I sold her or not. But Maureen and I decided we would offer the Norths half interest — and they jumped on board.” “She’s a very European style horse,” says Bob. “We had several people interested in buying her. And when she’s white, she will be even more beautiful than she is now.” All one would need to do is see an extended pedigree to see where all that beauty, refinement, and great movement comes from. “I love the

*Nariadni and *Muscat from her dam Belles Princess, and of course her sire, Da Vinci FM by Versace,” says Keith. “I was proud to have shown Da Vinci to his Reserve National Championship as a yearling colt and I also showed him a little bit as a two-year-old. He went on to have quite the success story.” The Norths are excited about the possibilities of breeding such an extraordinary Da Vinci FM daughter to their signature sire Ever After NA, a new cross for them. “We thought the pedigree and phenotype of this horse would go perfectly with Ever After,” says Dixie. An embryo has already been collected for an Ever After foal expected early next year. “The cross to Ever After NA could be absolutely extraordinary,” adds Keith. “She’s beautiful through her face, has a wonderful throat, is very short and compact, and is extremely good over the loin. She also has good character. She has a unique look about her that almost reminds me of classic Arabians from the past like 1978 National Champion Mare TJS Georgie Girl — horses from back in the 70s and 80s who had a distinct breeding look to them.” As for Chhina Doll’s show career? She will show in the U.S. Nationals in the Five-Year-Old Mare class in Tulsa in October, and then at the Arabian Breeders World Cup show in Las Vegas in April, 2013. “We’re going very slow with her,” says Bob. “She’s so beautiful on her own that showing is really a secondary thing. If she shows, that’s great, we’re happy, but if she doesn’t, she’s still beautiful and will produce wonderful foals with a number of different stallions. We’d like to get a couple of foals out of her next year and see how she produces.” “Our goal is to have some fun with her this year,” Keith adds. “Show her, let the world see her, and try some breeding. We just love the Norths … we’re going to enjoy this one together.”

74 ▪ ARABIAN HORSE WORLD ▪ SEPTEMBER 2012


Chhina Doll — Under Her Spell